Published On: Sun, Sep 3rd, 2017

A Guide to Buying Backup Cameras

Even the best drivers can make mistakes. No matter how many miles you’ve logged on the road, no matter how many tight spots you’ve reversed into, parking is one of the toughest aspect of handling a vehicle.

Bumping another car or truck while you’re trying to work into that narrow space (your neck craned as you look over your shoulder) can be expensive. This is bad enough if you’re driving your own vehicle, but if it’s a company car or truck? Well, it may bring disciplinary action you simply can’t afford.

Still, if you struggle with reverse parking, there’s a fantastic solution on today’s market: the backup camera.

As you might expect, there’s a vast range of options out there – how can you possibly find the best for your budget and needs? Well, we’ve compiled everything you need to know before handing over your cash …

photo Andreas Lischka via pixabay


There are two different camera sensors: CCD or CMOS.

A CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) model converts light into a signal in a more analog fashion, and is associated with high-quality images featuring strong light-sensitivity. CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor) cameras are a little more flexible, with each pixel of each image read individually rather than as a group, but are not necessarily as clear as CCD cameras.

CMOS cameras are generally less-expensive than CCD designs, which may be a big draw if you’re on a restricted budget. While the quality may not be quite as strong as a CCD camera, CMOS technologies are improving, so you may be able to find high-end imaging in the latest releases.

CMOS cameras consume less power and are more effective in low-light environments, which may help if you tend to drive more at night. Though this all sounds complicated, the type of sensor used in your backup camera is unlikely to be the key deciding factor at the purchase stage – the price usually takes that honor.


Most backup cameras feature helpful on-screen guidelines, to assist you when reversing into (or out of) parking spaces. These are designed to make judging distances from other vehicles or potential obstacles easier, but some drivers may find them a tad confusing at first.

Some, not all, backup cameras will allow you to switch these guidelines off if you find them intrusive or confusing. Once you get used to them, though, you may find guidelines the aid you’ve always been missing.

The View

In most backup cameras, there is a generous viewing angle, possibly up to 190 degrees. The wider your angle is, the more of your parking space and possible hazards you’ll be able to see – this makes parking much easier, no matter how narrow the spot.

Check the market for those cameras with the widest viewing angle, but be aware that those will be at the higher end of the price scale.

Mounting Options

You can mount your backup camera in a variety of places. Some can be fitted to the license plate, using a frame or a strap-mount for easy attachment.

Others can be mounted into the back of your vehicle, in an inset spot (usually above the license plate). Some cameras will be able to fit wherever you like – experiment with the placements giving you the best visibility, but take care not to leave the camera vulnerable.

The Law

The U.S. Transportation Department has declared that all new vehicles below 10,000 lbs, built after May 1st 2018, will require a backup camera as standard. This is expected to save lives and reduce the number of injuries caused while parking.

Even with backup cameras, accidents can still happen, and you may still collide with surrounding vehicles. If any damage is caused while backing into a space, you can call upon a professional towing company to help remove your vehicle in the safest way possible.

Author: Anderson Lele


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